Kimber St. Lawrence
#OnBrand: How to Carve Out Your Writing Niche and Own It
Updated: Jul 14, 2019
Before you start to market yourself as an author, craft vision, mission, and value statements that will set a framework for your career and guide your trajectory to success.
When it comes to your writing career, your words should always come first. But your author brand should be a close second.
I’m not talking about the number of followers you have on social platforms (phew!) but rather the way you position yourself in the context of your professional goals. In the corporate world, companies sink big bucks into clarifying their mission and brand in order to orient themselves in the market, differentiate themselves from competitors, and steer the trajectory of their initiatives. As a writer, you’ll face many of those same challenges, like determining who you are targeting as your readership and how you will portray yourself to them and to potential agents and publishers.
By applying a standard business exercise for considering and defining your Mission, Vision, Values, and Audience, you can create a solid framework for your writing career. This helped me to map out my professional path and determine where I wanted to focus my creative energy in order to stay on that track.
Vision – As a writer, where do you want to be?
Craft 1-2 sentences that you feel answer this question for you. Your vision statement should reflect your aspirations and dreams. Think big picture, but be specific enough that you can use it to shape your decision-making and serve as a “true North” as you progress in your writing career. The statement should be future-focused, purpose-driven, and inspiring to YOU.
Southwest Airline’s vision statement is to “become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.” If you were to apply this kind of grand ambition to your vision, it might be to “become a New York Times bestselling author on the Young Adult Fiction list.” Good on you! Dream big.
Nike’s statement is to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)” A similar approach for a writer might be to “bring representation and inspiration to [this] demographic.”